2018 Edelman Finalist Pediatric Heart Network

Collaborative Systems Analytics: Establishing Effective Clinical Practice Guidelines for Advancing Congenital Cardiac Care

The Pediatric Heart Network enlisted researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology to create clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for pre-, intra-, and post-surgical care of patients with congenital heart defects (CHDs), the most common birth defect, impacting nearly 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the U.S. Substantial variances in surgical practices to treat patients with CHDs among different healthcare centers were reflected in inconsistent surgical outcomes, some of which resulted in negative consequences for patients. By studying the nine leading U.S. pediatric centers, the researchers identified seven significant factors for influencing surgical outcome, and implemented a CPG that enables patients to be removed from breathing apparatuses earlier, lowered the rate of reintubation, and decreased the time patients need to remain in the intensive care unit. These guidelines also realized a cost savings of 27 percent, which translates to $13,500 per patient.